In My Despair I Took Up Painting
As a teenager, Tyler Trudeau played in punk and ska bands, but he had this parallel thing going on. It was called The Tyler Trudeau Attempt, and at the beginning it happened in his parents\' basement, Trudeau alone with a four-track, taking the keyed-up energy of punk rock and applying it to the other music he\'d grown up with (or into): Brill Building pop, garage rock, Merseybeat, surf music, post-punk, jangle-pop, new wave, hot jazz, pop standards, contemporary indie rock. In 2002, his last straight-up punk band dissolved and Trudeau came up from the basement, went into a bona fide recording studio, made some phone calls and (by the following year) turned the Attempt into a legit live band. Since then, The Tyler Trudeau Attempt has remained true to the impulses on which it was founded -- never hemmed into strict limitations of form or feel but always pop, and always a bit keyed-up. In My Despair, I Took Up Painting, recorded in 2006 with friend and longtime producer Jef Wilson, captures the band in a sort of post-punk power-pop phase and features songs about underemployment, youthful ambition, gender confusion, political alienation and provincial pride. Trudeau says of his own work, \'I write three-minute pop songs about feeling bad.\' Funny how he turns those bad feelings into something that\'s so much fun to listen to.